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Racism in the past and racism today -This is another interesting topic on racism. It offers can offer some interesting insights into how racism was perceived and manifested in various social spheres during the 19th century and how it is different today. You can explore how racism is changing its face. (3 pages)

Racism Essay – Racism in the past and racism today

Racism always has and is still one of the most prevalent social problems in the United States and other European countries. It is a social vice that has powerful roots in the society, and its elimination has almost proven impossible. Many believe that the community has worked towards ending this vice, but there is still evidence of racial discrimination in interactions between whites and people of color (Brown, 2004). The reason that pushes people into believing that racism has ended is that it has changed over the years and taken new forms. It is essential to evaluate how racism has transformed since the 19th century to modern-day forms.

In the 19th century, racism was open and acceptable in the American society. During these years the whites were treated as superiors to people of color (Jahoda, 2009). People of color were a source of labor and servants to the whites. The acceptable name for people of color in the 19th century was slaves (Jahoda, 2009). Slave trade was multimillion-dollar business that was practiced freely in most parts of the world in the 19th century (Jahoda, 2009). Even the people of color themselves new that they were inferior to the whites, but could not act as state governments were in support of their treatment. Racism during the 19th century was an ordinary and acceptable practice in the 19th century.

However, today racism is hidden but very prevalent in the society. After civil rights movements rose in the 19th and 20th century and pushed for the emancipation of people of color from slavery, governments acted and ended the practice. Laws were put in place to end slavery. Policies were made to ensure that people of color had equal rights as the whites (Brown, 2004). However, fewer efforts if any have been made to ensure that indeed people of color enjoy the same rights as the whites. The American law favors the whites over people of color (Brown, 2004). In the past, racism was an open practice, but today it is hidden, and one has to look deep inside social interactions to spot racial discrimination.

In the 19th century, people of color had no rights as they were considered as property to their merchants (Mosse, 1995). They were exposed to inhumane treatment such as often beatings and being overworked (Mosse, 1995). They were not allowed to own property and had no freedom to do as they pleased. During these years, the lives of people of color were dependent on the choices of their owners (Mosse, 1995). The whites had the right to kill people of color who went against their rules. People of color were aware of what would happen to them if they acted against the command of their merchants.

In the modern day world, people of color have rights that warrant them equal treatment as the whites, but these laws are just a way to justify the end of racial discrimination. In the past, no laws were prohibiting racial discrimination, and therefore people of color had no issues with the treatment they received from the whites (Brown, 2004). However, today with such laws in place people of color would expect fair treatment, but this has not happened since the 19th century. The American criminal justice system evidences this allegation, people of color are treated more harshly by the law than the whites (Brown, 2004). If both a white and black person commits murder, they will be given different sentences with the white person getting a fair one.

In the 19th century, people of color had no rights to own property as they were regarded as the property of the whites (Jahoda, 2009). But when slavery came to an end, they were given the right to own property. However, these laws did not bring an end to racial discrimination is it arose in property ownership (Jahoda, 2009). The whites could not allow people of color to own property in areas where they resided. History shows that the whites cautioned real estate dealers from allowing people of color to own homes in areas where they lived (Jahoda, 2009). The value of land or property owned by people of color would fall, while that of property owned by whites would rise. Today, there are residential areas owned by whites only and people of color can never be allowed to own property in such areas.

Brutality on people of color was a common practice in the 19th century, but laws were later put in place to stop such treatments (Mosse, 1995). However, brutality on people of color has continued to spread not just among ordinary white persons but also the police. Today, African American men die as a result of police brutality than from attacks by average white persons. The American justice system exonerates all-white officers suspected of killing innocent black men (Bonilla, Dietrich & Hall, 2008). Most African American men live in fear of the police, who are supposed to protect them than they fear white supremacists. Police brutality is one of the most common acts of modern racism.

Racism continues to be a social threat to people of color in the United States and other European countries. Laws put in place to protect them from racial discrimination are hardly implemented. The police and the justice system are the number one perpetrators of racial discrimination. The only difference between racism in the 19th century and modern-day racism is in the way that it manifests itself.



Bonilla, E., Dietrich, D. R., & Hall, R. E. (2008). Racism in the 21st Century R.

Brown, D. A. (2004). Fighting racism in the twenty-first century. Wash. & Lee L. Rev.61, 1485.

Jahoda, G. (2009). Intra‐European Racism in Nineteenth‐Century Anthropology. History and Anthropology20(1), 37-56.

Mosse, G. L. (1995). Racism and nationalism. Nations and Nationalism1(2), 163-173.


Racism Essay Outline


Racism always has and is still one of the most prevalent social problems affecting the American population and other European countries. It is essential to evaluate how racism has transformed since the 19th century to modern-day forms.


Paragraph 1:

Racism was openly accepted in the 19th century.

  • The whites were superior to the people of color.
  • People of color were slaves to the whites.
  • Slave trade was a legal business.

Paragraph 2:

Modern day racism is hidden but very prevalent in the society.

  • Laws were put in place to end slavery and stop racial discrimination, but no efforts have been made to implement them.
  • American laws favor the whites.

Paragraph 3:

In the 19th century, people of no color had no rights.

  • They were the property of white merchants.
  • They were highly mistreated.
  • They had no freedom of movement.

White people had the right to kill people of color.

Paragraph 4:

Today, there are laws aimed at giving people of color fair treatment, but these laws are ways of justifying the end of racial discrimination.

  • The American criminal justice system treats the whites more reasonably than the people of color.

Paragraph 5:

In the 19th century, people of color had no rights to own property.

  • Today people of color have the right to own property but only in areas free of the white population.
  • People of own color property in areas with low value, while whites own property in valuable areas.

Paragraph 6:

Brutality on people of color was acceptable in the 19th century, but there laws prohibiting the practice today.

  • The police have continued to subject people of color to brutal treatment without facing the wrath of the law.
  • Police brutality is an act of modern racism.


  • A restate of the thesis statement
  • A summary of the main points
  • A take-away statement made based on presented facts or information 


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